5 of the Best Places for Hiking Near San Francisco

From great blue Pacific views to California’s most beautiful vineyards, the Bay Area draws visitors for thousands of reasons. However, outdoors enthusiasts know the region for its incredible hiking opportunities. Whether you are searching for a leisurely stroll or your next great challenge, the hiking trails near San Francisco have something for everyone.

There’s a tremendous variety to what you’ll see when you choose one of these hikes near San Francisco, but if you are searching for more great outdoor recreation, simply download our free Livermore Valley Vacation Guide! Our guide is full of local recommendations on parks, golf courses, water sports, and things to do in the area!

Your Guide to the Best Hiking Near San Francisco

1. Mount Davidson

Mount Davidson is one of the best hikes in San Francisco. The main trail starts at the park gate and leads uphill on the main trail. You’ll encounter a eucalyptus forest, blackberry bushes, red elderberry, ivy, and cotoneaster. Some trails lead to the edges of the 40-acre park, while the main trail leads to a stunning view of the city skyline. At 927 feet, Mount Davidson is the highest point in San Francisco.

Distance: 1.5 mile loop

Difficulty: Easy hike

Get directions to Mount Davidson.

2. Twin Peaks

At 922 feet in elevation, Twin Peaks is also one of the best hikes in the Bay Area. The two adjacent peaks provide postcard views and a startling amount of animal and plant diversity. For those unable to hike, driven tours are also available. Coastal scrub and grassland communities comprise this 64-acre park. You may even catch a glimpse of the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly! You’ll also see a variety of birds, and possibly even brush rabbits.

Distance: 1.6 mile loop

Difficulty: Moderate hike

Get directions to Twin Peaks.

3. Philosopher’s Way

On Philosopher’s Way, you will find a number of “musing stations” with quotations, history factlets, and other park information. An 80-foot blue water tower marks the top of the park, where you’ll enjoy views that span downtown all the way to San Bruno. This trail features beautiful wild flowers and is perfect for all skill levels.

Distance: 2.7 mile loop

Difficulty: Easy hike

Get directions to Philosopher’s Way.

4. Lands End

Lands End is a wild and windy trail at the northwestern corner of San Francisco. Hike through hillsides of cypress and wildflowers, take in views of shipwrecks, and see the ruins of Sutro baths. Stop by the visitors center at the Lands End Lookout to learn about the natural and cultural history of the area. From there you can walk north along the edge of the city on the Coastal Trail. This trail also includes an overlook with a memorial to the USS San Francisco-a WWII cruiser, and a grassy picnic area amid The West Fort Miley batteries.

Distance: 3.4 mile loop

Difficulty: Moderate hike

Get directions to Lands End.

5. Baltimore Canyon Via Dawn Falls Trail Loop

The Dawns Falls Trail Loop offers a unique opportunity to hike and discover one of the most breathtaking Bay Area waterfalls. This trail is an enchanted place where you will hike through lush wooded, fern covered canyons. Many species of birds call Baltimore Canyon home, and you may even catch a glimpse of the rare and endangered spotted owl! (Tip for your trip: Do not drive to the end of the road. There is very little room to turn around. From the road, It is a very short walk to the trailhead.)

Distance: 4.4 mile loop

Difficulty: Moderate hike

Get directions to Baltimore Canyon.

We are Your Home Base

Located only an hour away from the Bay Area, The Purple Orchid Resort & Spa is the perfect home base for exploring San Francisco. After an exhilarating day of hiking, take advantage of our spa services and luxurious amenities. A complimentary glass of wine and a deep tissue massage are great ways to spoil yourself during your stay! King Bed in Vintner's Estate suite

Vintner’s Estate is one of only three rooms where in-room breakfast service is available. This room features a king sized bed, Jacuzzi tub for two, and elegant Wine Country decor. We are booking up quickly in anticipation of summer, so check our availability today! We can’t wait to welcome you to Livermore Wine Country.

Now that you’ve found the best hiking near San Francisco, read our blog on the best places to hike in Livermore!